This word is the thread which runs through all the newsletter items this week, whether we are reading about endings, beginnings, thanksgiving or outreach – fit topics for an August newsletter.
This Sunday, during the 4 pm Evensong service, we will be celebrating Bishop Barry’s 11 years of ministry as Bishop of Montreal and asking God’s blessing for his new life. The farewell service will be followed by a reception in Fulford Hall. We are most grateful to Mr Graham Fletcher, the owner of the Metro supermarket in Westmount who gave the cathedral a very generous donation towards the cost of the food. He has been a good friend to the Cathedral for several years.
In September we will welcome Mary Gibson as the first woman bishop of Montreal. Her induction is on September 29, the feast day of St Michael and All Angels. Please note that admission is by ticket and that Mary Abate, the Bishop’s Secretary, is in charge of distributing tickets (not the Cathedral Office).
Another farewell is to John Simons, the Principal of the Montreal Diocesan Theological College 1991 – 2015. The college has created a special edition of Pro Christo et Ecclesia celebrating his ministry. The newsletter includes photos of this year’s joint ecumenical Convocation and an introduction to the McGill Anglican-United Chaplain Rev. Jean-Daniel Williams who is a frequent member of the Cathedral congregation. Donald Boisvert will be the new principal of MDTC, but will remain a member of the clergy team here at the cathedral.
During the summer a group of young people, mission interns in the Diocese, worshipped with us at the Cathedral on Sunday morning. The Anglican Church of Canada online blogging site The Community is hosting a series of reflections by Montreal Mission Internship participants on the topic of mission and their summer 2015 projects. Find out more about the local mission projects our diocese and theological college supported!
The Feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Saturday August 15 will be celebrated with a Choral Eucharist at 12.15pm and an organ recital at 4.30pm played by Patrick Wedd. Music for Mary will feature works by Nicholas de Grigny, Naji Hakim, and Flor Peeters.
That same weekend we will be celebrating Gay Pride in Montreal.
The cathedral will be having a table at Community Day on August 15th from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Paul, Donald or Jean-Jacques will be around for the day but they would love to have some volunteers to join them for an hour or two. Jean-Jacques will be preparing a schedule so please let him know if you can help. He says that if you want to just drop in, it will be great to see you.
Sunday the 16th is the Pride Parade which begins at 1 p.m. at Saint Marc and René-Levesque West. Jean-Jacques invites us all to join – “The more the merrier,” he says, “which is so true for a parade. Let’s show Montreal what a truly inclusive congregation is Christ Church Cathedral!”
Last Sunday a group celebrated God’s creation with an Ecological Justice picnic on the lawn at the side of the cathedral. Delicious local food was shared, including a last harvest of herbs and lettuce from Jonathan’s balcony and various people contributed readings, prayers and a hymn. The noise and exhaust from idling tour buses on Union nicely underlined how humankind pollutes its environment, but the sound of Jonathan’s flute accompanying our voices made our spirits soar above the traffic. Thank you to Jan for organising this event and thank you to all who contributed.
One of the topics discussed was fair trade and its objectives. There is a very good web site which describes the aims of fair trade and outlines its standards, designed to support the sustainable development of small producer organizations and agricultural workers in the poorest countries in the world. www.fairtrade.net/aims-of-fairtrade-standards.html
The next Fair Trade Kiosque will take place on Sunday August 23. Jonathan is considering holding it on the forecourt of the cathedral and keeping it open from 12:30 to 5:30. Summer bargains will be added to the usual items like tea, coffee, chocolate and soap and there will be information offered about the importance of fair trade. This is a great idea for an outreach to the many visitors who pass through the forecourt – BUT – the kiosque can only happen if Jonathan has half a dozen volunteers to help. He will decide on August 12 if the project is viable so if you are interested, please contact Jonathan as soon as possible.
“Our ending is just a beginning” declared the authors of the TRC report. Two interesting follow-ups are happening, one in Toronto, one in Port Elgin.
St James Anglican Cathedral in Toronto has mounted a special exhibition on the legacy of The Indian Residential Schools which includes artifacts from the schools and a history of missions to the Indigenous Communities throughout Canada. Open until the end of August. Visit www.anglican.ca for more information.
From Aug. 16-22 there will be a meeting of the Sacred Circle—the national gathering of Indigenous people from across the Anglican Church of Canada. This sacred circle will be held in Port Elgin, Ont. and will mark one of the first major occasions for the church to begin planning its response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action. Please hold the circle in your prayers. For more information visit: http://www.anglican.ca/news/post-22-days-learning-and-action-opportunities-for-anglicans/30010959/
Another ending will come on Tuesday August 11 when the last session of silent meditation will be held at 5:45 pm after Evensong. Three years ago, Beth started leading silent meditation on one Tuesday a month. This grew to two Tuesdays and more recently, joined by Vivian and Paul, to every Tuesday. This has been a very heavy obligation and all three conveners feel they need a break. The Cathedral is extremely grateful to these three for their leadership and their inspiring spirituality. As always there is a possibility of an ending leading to a beginning.
Especially during an election campaign we should give thanks for our peaceful democratic country. There is a chance to remember others in less happy circumstances this Sunday during the Amnesty letter writing session after the 10 am Eucharist. Join in writing letters or postcards to speak out against injustice
In another reminder of how lucky we are, the Cathedral PWRDF summer appeal this year is supporting the “Fred Says” Food Security Campaign. Please visit our display at the back of the cathedral – Archbishop Fred himself had a look earlier this week!
The Wednesday summer Oasis Musicale series ended last week but the Saturday concerts continue. On August 8th at 4:30 organist Susanna Veerman takes the listener on a journey from Germany to France. French composers were influenced by the organ music of Bach, but their 19th century compositions had more lightness and freedom than those of the 18th century German composer. The well-known pieces chosen for this recital will illustrate the contrasting styles of France and Germany and highlight the versatility of the organ. Composers include JS Bach, Daquin, Saint-Saens.
I will finish this newsletter with a quotation from words to be addressed by Bishop Barry to the congregation at his farewell service on Sunday:
Scripture tells us that endings are only new beginnings. Therefore, let us go forth, doing God’s will in our respective places, for the sake of the Gospel of Christ.